The Archer Mice of Middle-earth
The Seige of Mouse Tirith
the bridges across the Granduin Canal they poured; swarming through the
narrow streets of Dublin 4, the Dome of the Stars. Cats; great
parti-coloured moggies and fat tabbies with sleek striped coats. From
the Southside came Burmese and Siamese, their blue eyes glowing in the
Dublin dusk. From the Northside, too, Great British Shorthairs, their
whiskers bristling, for word had gone out from Saurkat; the White Tower
of Mouse Tirith was ripe for the taking!
Before the feline flood fled every mouse and dormouse and halfmouse and
Elfmouse and fieldmouse of Dublin Four….into Mouse Tirith, also known
as Boland’s Bakery in happier times before rock-hard buns went out of
fashion and sushi bars and latté counters took over. Cake crumbs
aplenty and not a trap in sight. But on the horizon massed the armies
of Saurkat, led by Gothmoggie….
This giant Siamese was, it was whispered, once a Nazkat but now
Saurkat’s greatest leader. He prowled to the front of his troops, his
blue eyes gleaming and his boots shining. for Gothmoggie did not like
to get his paws wet so he wore rubber boots. Which gave him his
nickname; Puss In Boots.
Now Gothmoggie paced backwards and forwards before his troops, swishing
his black-tipped tail. His jewelled collar sparkled. He looked up at
the hundreds of pink ears peeping over Bolands Mill roof, twitching
nervously, and he grinned.
‘I can smell rodent fear…’ he purred.
‘Let us easy their pain….CAT apults!’
At Gothmoggie’s command, small, feline-designed catapults were rolled
up and drawn back. With a twang and a thwang they unloaded their cargo
and it hurtled towards the doomed citadel….
In the roof-spaces and gulleys of Mouse Tirith the defenders rushed
here and there, seeking to protect themselves from the deadly hail
‘Yech!’ cried the Captain of the Mouse Guard. ‘How disgusting!’
‘I thought they would like that…’ said Gothmoggie, sitting down and
beginning to wash his face with his paw….
Up the many levels of Mouse Tirith, to the central space on the roof,
where a White Tree, sad and dying, stood in an ever-running fountain of
sparkling water, hurried Wizardmouse, accompanied by Pipsqueak. Their
mission, to rouse the Lord of Mouse Tirith, Denemouse, to action to
defend Middle Mouse.
‘Look!’ cried Pipsqueak in his tiny voice. Wizardmouse turned.
‘A dead tree…what is it doing on the roof of a bakery?’
‘I’m an expert on arboriculture now, am I?’ snapped the wizard rodent.
‘No, but I thought…as you are always telling us what to do, that you
know what to do…’
‘Oh shut up, Pipsqueak’ said Wizardmouse ‘It’s probably got vine
weevils or something….’
Wizardmouse ascended the steps to the Stewardmouse’s Great Hall, which
was also the biscuit factory in the old bakery. The whiff of ginger nut
wafted out of the peeling doors as they approached. Then Wizardmouse
stopped. He turned to Pipsqueak and said;
‘Now, Pip, Denemouse is the Stewardmouse of Gondorodent, Boromouse’s
father. Don’t tell him Boromouse is dead…’
‘Right’ said Pipsqueak
‘And don’t tell him he isn’t dead’
‘..er..right’ said Pip.
‘The fact is, we don’t know. But don’t tell him that either’
‘And don’t mention Aramouse…’
‘No, I won’t’ replied Pip.
‘Or the Ring…’
‘Or the election..’
‘Or the results of the match..’
‘Or the latest Dow Jones…’
‘What CAN I talk about?’
‘Well, actually it might be better if you didn’t say anything, Pip…’
‘Why didn’t you say that at the start….?’
At last the two mice were ushered into a vast hall, lined with disused
biscuit ovens. Mice-at-arms in black livery stood along the walls,
holding cocktail sticks tipped with steel. At the end of the hall was a
high throne, and at its foot, a simple stool, made from a wooden sewing
bobbin. On this, clad in rich velvet, was an elderly, grey-whiskered
mouse. He looked up as Wizardmouse and Pipsqueak approached.
‘Hail, Denemouse son of Ecmouselion, Lord of Gondorodent!’ cried
Wizardmouse. The old mouse looked up, a sly gleam in his eye.
‘Wizardmouse, stormrodent!’ he hissed.
‘In ill time you come…’
‘I have come with tidings, and with council in this dark hour….’
‘Have you come to explain this….’
And to Pipsqueak’s astonishment and dismay the old mouse held out in
both paws the broken pieces of a mobile phone.
‘Boromouse’s Nokia!’ thought Pipsqueak. Wizardmouse looked stunned.
‘We’ve analysed the last text message sent’ said Denemouse onimousely.
‘It reads; Dear Dad, if you find this bunch that did for me, send them
all for a swim in wet cement….’
‘Oh dear’ thought Pipsqueak.